Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Pongal (Pongali)

Rice, Roasted Yellow Moong Dal, Roasted Cashews, Cumin and Peppercorn
Sona Masuri Rice, Roasted Yellow Moong Dal, Roasted Cashews, Cumin and Peppercorn

Some foods are simply divine, pongal belongs to that category. There isn’t anything quite like pongal! Creamy and luxurious rice dish that you get by cooking rice with toasted moong dal in little bit of ghee. Lots of water, sometimes milk is added and seasoned with cumin, black peppercorn and salt. The whole mix is cooked in a big pot until the rice and dal are soft. Roasted cashews are sprinkled at the end. This simple dish is so fragrant, the whole house will be filled with wonderful aroma. And the taste, I won’t gush but I will say this; it’s often prepared and offered to Gods in temples. Can we, mere mortals resist the pongal temptation? I don’t think so!

Pittsburgh’s Sri Venkateswara Temple serves the best pongal I have ever tasted out side India. At the temple’s kitchen, the chef prepares pongal in a big caldron following the traditional method. The secret is not only quality ingredients but also the method of cooking, no pressure-cookers there. I think that’s why temple pongal tastes so good. Since last year I have been preparing pongal in a big pot and stopped cooking it in pressure cooker. The difference in taste is tremendous and surprisingly the preparation is also easy.

Here is my recipe:
(for two)

1½ cup rice (preferably Sona Masuri)
1 cup yellow moong dal
2 tablespoon of ghee
1 tsp of cumin
½ tsp of black peppercorn
1 tsp of salt
½ cup of cashews
7 cups of water and
I also add 2 cups of milk (my preference and optional)
A big sturdy pot (Big sauce pan)


Pongal - Starting Point


Pongal - After 15 minutes of cooking


Pongal - at 20 minutes of cooking

1. Heat a teaspoon of ghee in an iron skillet on medium heat. Add and roast moong dal to golden color, constantly mixing. Take care not to black. Remove them to a plate. In the same skillet heat another teaspoon of ghee. Add and roast cashews to golden.

2. In a big sturdy pot, heat a tablespoon of ghee. Add and toast cumin and black peppercorn for few minutes. Stir in the toasted moong dal and rice. Mix them with ghee for few minutes. Pour water and milk and stir in salt. Cover the pot with lid and cook on high heat. Within 10 to 15 minutes, you will see the water gurgling and trying to lift the pot lid. At this stage, remove the lid. Mix the cooking mixture once and partially cover the pot with lid, leaving little bit of gap for water vapor to escape.

3. Within 5 minutes, you will see whole thing coming together. Rice-dal mixture will be doubled in volume. Each grain will be plumped but not broken open. Turn off the heat, and stir in roasted cashews. Close the lid fully and let the rice sit for about 10 minutes. At this stage, you can stir in more ghee if you want to and also add salt to suit your taste.

Rice-dal mixture absorbs the remaining water-milk liquid and becomes little bit tight. Pongal’s consistency can vary from something resembling a thick soup to a creamy porridge, but never like a tight hard ball. Resist the temptation to overcook and turn off heat early.

Usually we will have this pongal with chutney, potato kurma or with a cup of yogurt depending on the time of the day.


Pongal with Coconut Chutney ~ Traditional Indian breakfast
My first entry to JFI - Dal hosted by Sailu of Sailu’s Food and also to Paz’s For the Love of Rice


Along with cumin and black peppercorn, curry leaves are also added to the ghee. I didn’t have any curry leaves when I prepared this recipe so the omission.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Amma & Authentic Andhra, Cashews, Sona Masuri Rice, Moong Dal (Washed) (Thursday June 29, 2006 at 1:46 pm- permalink)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

41 comments for Pongal (Pongali) »

  1. hey..Indira your pongal looks amazing…yummmmmmmmmm

    Comment by Anonymous — June 29, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

  2. I make it in pressure cooker and comes mushy. Not tried it out in the stove top. Anyways yummy!

    Comment by Anonymous — June 29, 2006 @ 2:18 pm

  3. Being north indian, i never had pongal. It looks yummy…i will have to try tonight only.Can’t wait…

    Comment by Sonal — June 29, 2006 @ 2:33 pm

  4. yup, i loved the pongal i had at the pittsburgh temple. the one you get at ISKCON, bangalore too is awesome. somehow these temple versions of pongal always taste better than the homemade ones!
    btw, your concentric circle of all the ingredients looks damn cute:)

    Comment by Bharti — June 29, 2006 @ 2:37 pm

  5. I totally agree with you. Pongal cooked in a pot tastes much better than pressure cooker. My mother makes it in vengala uruli which is a thick bottom vessel. We usually serve pongal with eggplant gothsu. Your photos are so good.

    Comment by Krithika — June 29, 2006 @ 2:49 pm

  6. Pongal looks yummy, esp ingredients photo and step by step instrctions… initally i used to pressure cook, but often i end up getting thick mass,These daya like my MIL, i use electric rice cooker and my pongal comes out good. When I started blogging, pongal was one of the few items i blogged and your post beings me back all those memories :)

    Comment by Karthi Kannan — June 29, 2006 @ 2:55 pm

  7. The simplicity of this dish has been captured very beautifully in the photograph as it is served in the traditional stainless steel plate. If it had been served in some wedgewood china it wouldnt have done justice. And that’s what I like most about Indira’s photographs. Simplicity of her soul is reflected in her meals, recipes, presentaion and photographs. This resembles a lot with maharashtrian dish of mugachi khichadi.

    Comment by Eve — June 29, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

  8. What a coincidence !! Even i blogged about Pongal today. Your version looks deliciosu Indira.

    Like Krithika said , Pongal is usually served with a delicious Tanjore preparation -Kathrika Gothsu or coconut chutney in Tamil Nadu.

    Comment by Priya — June 29, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

  9. […] After i prepared a draft of this recipe, i was browsing through blogs for other versions of pongal, each recipe was different. All looked so delicious and I’m definitely going to try each and every Pongal recipe. Like Indira says , cooking in a pot makes a lot of difference, its very tasty and soft. The pongal tends to become little dry after a while when cooked using a pressure cooker. I have also seen some of them cooking rice and dal first and then add the tempered ingredients finally.  And like that way the pongal is white  just  like the restaurant types. […]

    Pingback by Sugar And Spice » Ven Pongal — June 29, 2006 @ 4:29 pm

  10. I have never tasted pongal. Now I have to start shopping for ingredients. Thank you, Indira!

    Comment by beth — June 29, 2006 @ 4:34 pm

  11. Hi Indira,
    Dal,rice picture looks wonderful, Filling breakfast recipe.
    By the way, you have been tagged for Tag World confessions meme. Looking forward for your Post.:)

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Nila for tagging me. But I do not like to respond to memes unrelated to food. Sorry and hope you don’t mind.

    Comment by Nila — June 29, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

  12. This is what I like about your blog, you constantly tend to raise the bar for creativity, photography and writing style. The first picture in this post is very creative. It looks like ‘Vishnu Chakram’. Great presentation and writing style!

    Comment by Madhavi — June 29, 2006 @ 6:27 pm

  13. Hi Indira,
    Pittsburgh temple pongali tastes really good. It makes our 400mile drive from NJ even more satisfying (after the Swamy darsanam of course). I cant wait to come back and try making pongali in a pot i/o pressure cooker.
    Thanks for the post.
    Pavani

    Comment by Pavani — June 29, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

  14. Yes Indira,offering this dish to God in our Indian tradition itself says it all about the dish!

    Comment by Sumitha — June 30, 2006 @ 7:23 am

  15. Good twist to the regular pulagam recipe!! I have a question, does adding milk impart any sweetness to the dish?

    Comment by Arjuna — June 30, 2006 @ 8:51 am

  16. I’m not even Indian, but Pongal is my FAVORITE breakfast! I never add milk, and mine is a bit soupier than your photo shows, but otherwise the same as your recipe. It’s total comfort food. Yum!

    The first photo is extraordinary. You are a true artist.

    Comment by Diane — June 30, 2006 @ 9:20 am

  17. Indira, i love pongal. I tried cooking it alot of times( in pressure cooker). But not even one time it turned out good.Your recipie looks perfect to me. I’ll try this from now onwards and now i’m damn sure it’ll be the best of all this time.Afterall this is your recipie you know. Thanks for sharing this wonderful food recepie.

    Comment by bharghavi — June 30, 2006 @ 9:53 am

  18. Indira devi,
    The fisrt pic looks like a beautiful athapoo (or flower arrangement) we do for Onam in our front courtyards!

    Comment by L.G — June 30, 2006 @ 11:35 am

  19. Indira, as usual the pics are beautiful :) .It looks like a pongal week. So many nice pongal recipes :) . I am planning to try all of them.

    Comment by shilpa — June 30, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

  20. Hi Indira ! your pictures look damn good! BTW I heard of using grated ginger in pongal !! How can we make that.
    anu

    Comment by Anu veturi — June 30, 2006 @ 1:23 pm

  21. Indira,
    I have never seen or tasted this dish, but nothing will stop me from trying it out now. It looks very tempting.
    Btw, the dishes traditionally offered to Gods are always soooo good. Goes on to show that we are keen on treating our Gods to good food too.

    Comment by Vaishali — June 30, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

  22. hai Indira….
    those are awesome photos yaar….i luv the way u write about the recipe…i even tried out the recipe and it came out very well…ofcourse not as much as yours….thanks a lot

    Comment by preethi — June 30, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

  23. No doubt..your recipes turns out great all the time. But dont tell me you have been using those fork and spoon for last two years!!:) if so tell me the cleaning liquid.. a gold or silver can not over take the brilliance in the stailess steel shine… !!

    Comment by Aparna — June 30, 2006 @ 4:11 pm

  24. Your pongal looks yummy. I am a big fan of pongal. I am new to blogging and have been browsing through your website. I am amazed at your creativity.. Wow you are tooo good

    Comment by Suja — June 30, 2006 @ 8:35 pm

  25. Hi Mahanandi :)
    I tried this pongal today with milk. I have prepared this recipe for the first time in life. I also added some saffron and elaichi and It was awesome. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will be vising your blog often from now.

    Comment by Neelu — June 30, 2006 @ 11:32 pm

  26. Thanks for your comments.

    Eve, Diane, Madhavi and Bhargavi - I am truly honored to receive such compliments from you. Thank you!

    Arjuna: Yes, milk makes it midly sweet. I add it mainly to balance the peppercorn taste.

    Aparna: .:), I have kept some dishes to the side for special occasions.

    Preeti and Neelu: thanks for trying out this recipe and for letting me know.

    Comment by Indira — June 30, 2006 @ 11:51 pm

  27. This does look and sound absolutely divine! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us!

    Paz

    Indira replies:
    Thanks for hosting the FMR event, Paz.

    Comment by Paz — July 1, 2006 @ 9:44 am

  28. Dal Makhani and Pongal are the two recipes I see happening in the food blogosphere and each recipe is unique and special in its own way.

    Beautifully presented recipe of Pongali, Indira. Great entry and thanks for participating.

    Comment by sailaja — July 4, 2006 @ 2:16 pm

  29. Hi Indira,

    Yesterday, I had an opportunity to prepare Pongal and followed your recipe without any deviations.

    Thank you very much, I (you) impressed even my mom. It was the best pongal I ever made.

    –Manasa

    Glad to hear that Manasa. Thanks for letting me know, appreciate it.
    —Indira

    Comment by Manasa — December 10, 2006 @ 10:06 pm

  30. I have 2 question regarding this pongal recipe…you stir the rice mixed with roasted dal in ghee after you are done roasting the cumin seeds + pepper corns?

    What is the proportion of water + milk ratio to rice + dal?

    Would really appreciate if you cud answer these two queries of mine.

    Thank you.

    BTW: I have tried the sag paneer recipe of yours and it came out very well.

    Comment by Gayatri — December 14, 2006 @ 5:33 pm

  31. Hi Indira,

    You are another victim of Plagiarism I guess. Visit the site : http://www.123pongal.com/pongal/recipes/

    This has the photo which you have used above for pongal. I dint know that much reputed websites even cheat…..check it out…and do the needful.

    Will followup later, bye yar!!

    Indira replies:
    Thanks for bringing this to my notice. I contacted the editor of the website and waiting for the reply.
    I just hate these guys, I don’t understand how they can steal stuff so blatantly. What is wrong with asking permission, after all they are made to be seen. Just a simple email or comment for permission, that’s all they need to do. God I hate these stealers.

    Comment by Anisha — February 14, 2007 @ 10:07 am

  32. Indira, I’ve been a longtime lurker on this site and have tried many of your recipes. I made this Pongal recipe yesterday and was blown away. I’ve always disliked pongal at temple for the reasons you stated above- always pressure cooked, too dry, little taste. Slow-cooking made all the difference- it was heavenly! We had it with a modified version of your alu mattar curry with soya- great combo :)

    PS your mango daal recipe is superb!

    Comment by Shashi Jain — June 21, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

  33. Namaste Indira,

    I am really glad to find your website, (you make my life brighter) as I can cook some really authentic Indian food (as from cookbooks isnt so easy from my exp. After my first travel to South India it s food became my favorite. Your recipe for Masala dosa turned out amazingly perfect (as I remember it from Kerala). But pongal is my real favorite and it is the heavenly food.

    En lep pozdrav iz Slovenije, Mihael

    Comment by Mihael — August 3, 2007 @ 2:33 am

  34. Hello Indiraji,

    I made Pongal for todays lunch. It was the best pongal I made. I totally followed ur recipe. Thnx a lot for sharing the recipe.
    Take good care
    -Nikki

    Comment by Nikki — February 7, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

  35. I found your recipe on google when I tried to figure out what I ate on winter a hike….your recipe sounds better than the vacuum sealed emergency rations I took up the mountain. Can’t wait to try it out in my kitchen. Still, on a cold day, spicy pongal warms you up from the inside! Cheers from Northern NH, A

    Comment by Alli — January 1, 2009 @ 10:19 pm

  36. Dear Indira, This is the perfect recipe for perfect pongal…..making it for lunch now and it is already smelling so good….reminds me of my childhood in Vizag,….

    Take care and please do keep blogging your wonderful recipes….

    Comment by sandhya — February 4, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  37. its yummyyyy……………….

    Comment by Suhasinee — October 8, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

  38. Indira, the pongal looks delish! I have a sri lankan restaurant that has just opened up near me and I was looking up some of the dishes when I stumbled on to your site. At least I now know what to order! Thanks…

    Comment by nims — July 31, 2011 @ 8:06 am

  39. hi Indira, I just cooked Peanut chutney and Pongal following your recipe from your website. This is the first time I ever cooked these in my life. Both came very well and tasting awesome. Thanks for amazing recipes and very well written and maintained website.Can’t wait to try more!!!Thanks again.

    Comment by dhana — January 18, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

  40. […] 1. Saffron Trail – Nandita’s Cluster Beans Paruppu Usili 2. Saffron Trail – Nandita’s Comfort Khichdi 3. Myriad Tastes – Lera’s Moghalai Masala Khichdi 4. Ginger and Mango – LG’s Munthirikkotthu – Sweet Moong Dal Balls 5. Pinch of This and A Dash of That – Anu’s Chakrapongal 6. Taste Corner – BDSN’s Spinach Milagootal 7. Out of the Garden – Linda’s Channa Dal Poha 8. Out of the Garden – Linda’s Sweet Pongal 9. Smorgasboard – Biblo’s Parathas stuffed with Sattu 10. One Hot Stove – Nupur’s Mujadarah 11. Kitchen Wonders – Sumitha’s Masoor Dal Makhani 12. My Life as a Reluctant Housewife – Gabriella’s Lentil Salad 13. Indian Potpourri – Shynee’s Dal Makhani 14. Manpasand – Krithika’s Paruppu Urundai Rasam 15. Kodali’s Kitchen – Tanuja’s Purnaalu 16. Sugar and Spice – Priya’s Ven Pongal 17. Vineela’s Cooking – Annappodi 18. Vineela’s Cooking – Tur Dal Butternut Squash Kheer 19. Trial and Error – Nabeela’s Lentil Rice and Dalcha 20. Ruchi – Madhu’s Toor Dal Idly 21. My Samayal – Sudha’s Yellow Pumpkin Dal 22. Flavour Ride – ArSu’s Rice and Toor Dal Patties 23. Cascading Flavours – Ramya’s Idli & Adai 24. Akshayapaatram – Priya’s MLA Pesarattu 25. Akshayapaatram – Priya’s Amma’s Kakarakaya Pitla 26. Vindu – N’s (Mythili Friend’s) Dal Kootu 27. What’s For Lunch Honey – Meeta’s Couscous 28. Cook Almost Anything – Haalo’s Chick peas with Chorizo 29. Memories and Meals – Nav’s Dal Spinach 30. Gattina’s Azuki Bean & Coconut Milk Jelly 31. Gattina’s Beans in Sacks 32. Gattina’s Green Eggs and Ham 33. Mahanandi – Indira’s Pongali 34. Mahanandi – Indira’s Sunnundalu – Urad Dal Laddu 35. Happy Burp – Vaishali’s Puranpoli 36. Krishna and Arjuna’s World – Arjuna’s Pesara Poornaalu 37. Ahaar – Mandira’s Dal Makhani 38. Viaggi & Sapori – Orchidea’s Pasta with Lentils 39. Anthony’s Kitchen – Bachelors’s Dal Makhani 40. Aayis Recipes – Shilpa’s Sev Bhaji 41. Spicyana – Archana’s Rasa Vada 42. Menu For Today – Vidya’s Lentil Broth 43. Lima Beans Delhi Chaat – Sury’s Sindhi Garlic Dal 44. Past, Present and Me – Vee’s Sanna Mudde 45. Pusiva’s Culinary Studio – Pushpa’s Dal Farfalle 46. Sumi’s Kitchen –Sumathy’s Black Eyed Peas Kulambu 47. My Worksh0p – RP’s Moong Dal Payasam 48. Un Tocco Di Zenzero – Gourmet’s Lentils with Garlic Oil 49. Masala Magic- Latha’s Bottle Gourd Kootu 50. Cooks Hideout – Pavani’s Lentil Walnut Burger 51. Foodie Newbie – Sudha’s Chekkalu 52. Menu Today – Suyyam 53. En Ulagam – Revathi’s Urad Dal Halwa 54. Bhakshanam – Aparna’s Dal Makhni 55. Sailu’s Food – Dal Makhani 56. Sailu’s Food – Dahi Vada […]

    Pingback by 🍲Round Up of Jihva For Ingredients - Dal - Indian food recipes - Food and cooking blog — December 17, 2015 @ 6:27 am

  41. […] 1. Saffron Trail – Nandita’s Cluster Beans Paruppu Usili 2. Saffron Trail – Nandita’s Comfort Khichdi 3. Myriad Tastes – Lera’s Moghalai Masala Khichdi 4. Ginger and Mango – LG’s Munthirikkotthu – Sweet Moong Dal Balls 5. Pinch of This and A Dash of That – Anu’s Chakrapongal 6. Taste Corner – BDSN’s Spinach Milagootal 7. Out of the Garden – Linda’s Channa Dal Poha 8. Out of the Garden – Linda’s Sweet Pongal 9. Smorgasboard – Biblo’s Parathas stuffed with Sattu 10. One Hot Stove – Nupur’s Mujadarah 11. Kitchen Wonders – Sumitha’s Masoor Dal Makhani 12. My Life as a Reluctant Housewife – Gabriella’s Lentil Salad 13. Indian Potpourri – Shynee’s Dal Makhani 14. Manpasand – Krithika’s Paruppu Urundai Rasam 15. Kodali’s Kitchen – Tanuja’s Purnaalu 16. Sugar and Spice – Priya’s Ven Pongal 17. Vineela’s Cooking – Annappodi 18. Vineela’s Cooking – Tur Dal Butternut Squash Kheer 19. Trial and Error – Nabeela’s Lentil Rice and Dalcha 20. Ruchi – Madhu’s Toor Dal Idly 21. My Samayal – Sudha’s Yellow Pumpkin Dal 22. Flavour Ride – ArSu’s Rice and Toor Dal Patties 23. Cascading Flavours – Ramya’s Idli & Adai 24. Akshayapaatram – Priya’s MLA Pesarattu 25. Akshayapaatram – Priya’s Amma’s Kakarakaya Pitla 26. Vindu – N’s (Mythili Friend’s) Dal Kootu 27. What’s For Lunch Honey – Meeta’s Couscous 28. Cook Almost Anything – Haalo’s Chick peas with Chorizo 29. Memories and Meals – Nav’s Dal Spinach 30. Gattina’s Azuki Bean & Coconut Milk Jelly 31. Gattina’s Beans in Sacks 32. Gattina’s Green Eggs and Ham 33. Mahanandi – Indira’s Pongali 34. Mahanandi – Indira’s Sunnundalu – Urad Dal Laddu 35. Happy Burp – Vaishali’s Puranpoli 36. Krishna and Arjuna’s World – Arjuna’s Pesara Poornaalu 37. Ahaar – Mandira’s Dal Makhani 38. Viaggi & Sapori – Orchidea’s Pasta with Lentils 39. Anthony’s Kitchen – Bachelors’s Dal Makhani 40. Aayis Recipes – Shilpa’s Sev Bhaji 41. Spicyana – Archana’s Rasa Vada 42. Menu For Today – Vidya’s Lentil Broth 43. Lima Beans Delhi Chaat – Sury’s Sindhi Garlic Dal 44. Past, Present and Me – Vee’s Sanna Mudde 45. Pusiva’s Culinary Studio – Pushpa’s Dal Farfalle 46. Sumi’s Kitchen –Sumathy’s Black Eyed Peas Kulambu 47. My Worksh0p – RP’s Moong Dal Payasam 48. Un Tocco Di Zenzero – Gourmet’s Lentils with Garlic Oil 49. Masala Magic- Latha’s Bottle Gourd Kootu 50. Cooks Hideout – Pavani’s Lentil Walnut Burger 51. Foodie Newbie – Sudha’s Chekkalu 52. Menu Today – Suyyam 53. En Ulagam – Revathi’s Urad Dal Halwa 54. Bhakshanam – Aparna’s Dal Makhni 55. Sailu’s Food – Dal Makhani 56. Sailu’s Food – Dahi Vada […]

    Pingback by 🍲Round Up of Jihva For Ingredients - Dal - Indian food recipes - Food and cooking blog — December 17, 2015 @ 6:27 am

Your Comment

(required)

(required but not published)

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI